The Washington Football Team released quarterback Dwayne Haskins on Monday, bringing the former first-round pick’s time with the franchise to an unceremonious end after less than two seasons.
Washington (6-9) elected to part with Haskins, 23, after benching him in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 20-13 home loss to the Carolina Panthers. A win would have clinched the NFC East title and a playoff berth for Washington.
“This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways. We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward.”
Selected 15th overall by Washington in the 2019 draft, Haskins struggled in his rookie year before being named the starter and team captain for the 2020 season. But his inconsistent play caused Rivera to bench him after four games.
Haskins again got the starting nod in two more late-season games while filling in for injured Alex Smith, but struggled in both contests.
After the first game, a 20-15 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 20, Haskins was purportedly photographed at a strip club while not wearing a mask, a violation of COVID-19 protocols. He was subsequently fined by the team and stripped of his captain status.
Haskins, who was fined earlier in the year for a separate coronavirus-related violation, apologized for the incident and again got the start against Carolina. But he went just 14 for 28 for 154 yards and two interceptions before Rivera yanked him for journeyman Taylor Heinicke, who joined the team’s practice squad three weeks ago and had been out of the league since 2018.